NOTE: Thora Hird's last appearance.


ANNOUNCER: We present Clement Freud, Thora Hird, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo in Just A Minute. And as the Minute Waltz fades away, here to tell you about it is our chairman, Nicholas Parsons.

NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you very much, hello and welcome to Just A Minute. And as you just heard we welcome Thora Hird as our guest who has come forward with great courage to play this ridiculous game with our three regulars Derek Nimmo, Peter Jones and Clement Freud. We wish her well, into the lions den in which she's stepped and she will try and compete with them all, speaking with the others for Just A Minute if they can on the subject I will give them without hesitation, without repetition and without deviating from the subject on the card. And we start the show with Peter Jones and Peter the subject is knees. Will you tell us something on that in Just A Minute starting now.

PETER JONES: Well I don't know very much about knees. Because I don't hang around low joints! They are, they are very useful things because without them we wouldn't really be able to bend the leg and not consequently drive a car or combine harvester or space module or treadle sewing machine.


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DEREK NIMMO: You can drive all these things, particularly a treadle sewing machine, without knees.

PJ: How do you know?

DN: Well because there are many...

CLEMENT FREUD: You can have a knee on a wooden leg.

PJ: Quite right! Thank you very much! You wouldn't have a kneeless wooden leg, would you? If you were in your right mind!

NP: It is still a correct challenge...

PJ: You really think that's a correct challenge?

NP: Yes.

PJ: Well if you'll believe that you'll believe anything!

NP: Well I do believe it and I'm backing my judgment by giving Derek Nimmo a point for a correct challenge and tell him he has 39 seconds now to take over the subject of knees starting now.

DN: Knees are something which are terribly necessary I suppose when you go into a house of God. Because it's upon those that you rest when supplicating there before...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: You can go into a house of God with wooden legs!

NP: Of course you can! It's a lovely remark! I'll tell you what I'll do...

PJ: It's not lovely at all! It's common sense!

NP: It's a lovely challenge but what is it? Are you suggesting it's deviation?

PJ: I'm trying to suggest that you were quite wrong or erroneous when you suggested that you couldn't use a treadle sewing machine without...

NP: I said an incorrect challenge, he wasn't deviating from knees and he has 30 seconds to continue starting now.

DN: Knees are something that I get down on when I have to crawl to suck up to this hopeless chairman of this game. I find that if I do get down on my knees and grovel sufficiently he will occasionally give me a form, a point that I...


DN: I've mucked up my chance for the rest of the night now, I can tell you!

NP: I have been extremely generous and you're the only person that's got any points so far! Except for the bonus I gave to Peter! I don't see how you can possibly say that! Clement what was your challenge?

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Yes indeed there was. Well may he have hesitated! And even if he hadn't hesitated I would have given it against him! There are 17 seconds on knees Clement starting now.

CF: Knees are something I know quite a lot about because I had a knee transplant. One of the very first ones when doctors discovered that my left knee was in exactly the position in which my right one should have been. And after fairly lengthy consul...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: Why didn't you just move over?

THORA HIRD: Mr Chairman doesn't it surprise you that when you've got intelligent gentlemen like this that nobody on this programme has said if there weren't knees there's nothing you could have upped Mother Brown with, and nothing to sit on if you're a woman?

NP: Yes!

TH: Yeah!

PJ: Quite!

TH: They didn't think of that!

NP: Well done!

CF: It's worth saying!

NP: Well I can tell you the way you three are going she would have never got in if she hadn't pressed erroneously and done it. But Thora thank you for those comments and...

TH: You're welcome.

NP: The audience appreciated it. But I'd like to go back to Peter's challenge. What was it?

PJ: Ah well I don't know if you don't know, you're the chairman!

NP: I can remember what you said. Why didn't you move over. You didn't say what your challenge was.

PJ: No I've forgotten now.

NP: So it wasn't a correct challenge?

PJ: Yes...

NP: Just an interruption?

PJ: My attention wandered, I can't think why really!

NP: Well...

PJ: Interest was flagging I suppose! I contributed to it. What?

NP: Clement Freud has a challenge for an interruption which was not a correct challenge and he has two seconds to continue on knees starting now.

CF: The average number of knees per person is 1.99...


NP: Well we've finished the first round and a lot of points were scored because a lot of interruptions occurred and there's an extra point to the one who was speaking as the whistle went which tells us that 60 seconds are up of course. It was Clement Freud who has a strong lead at the end of the round. And Derek Nimmo we're with you to start and the subject is a try. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

DN: I think in Just A Minute one always ought to have a try, to try and deceive the chairman if possible. It's quite easy to do this really. You can get him frightfully rattled and he gets awfully stroppy and therefore if you can have a try sometimes you can achieve more than you would have ever hoped you could so have done. Other times if you are playing rugby football and you're at Twickenham you rush along the grass and you fling the ball down and if you're lucky and people agree with you which they very seldom do in that particular game I'm afraid then you have scored a try. Other...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: You haven't. Deviation. You have to keep hold of it. If you fling the ball down....

NP: I wondered when someone was going to spot that! Yes you have to fall on the ball...

CF: No you don't...

NP: ...and keep it with you, if you fling it you've lost it...

CF: You don't fall on the ball...

NP: And Clement...

CF: Nonsense! You don't have to fall on the ball.

NP: You don't have to fall on the ball...

CF: Well you just said you...

NP: ... but you have to fall with the ball. You have to keep the ball attached to you! You can't get down on the ground without falling! Or throwing yourself! Oh don't be so difficult! There are 16 seconds for you Clement...

DN: If you don't agree with Clement why are you giving him the point?

NP: I utterly utterly agree with him.

DN: Didn't you just say that he was being difficult?

NP: He is being difficult now! It was a very good challenge and I was explaining to a few of the listeners who don't play rugby football like you, how a try is scored. It's usually scored by the fellow running and throwing himself down...

DN: Throwing his head down????

NP: No throwing himself down with the ball....

DN: Ah yes.

NP: And not the ball down.

DN: No.

NP: Which Clement picked up and then he was being difficult...

DN: Well if he picked it up he wouldn't be down!

NP: You're being difficult as usual now! And there are 16 seconds left for Clement to talk on a try starting now.

CF: I would like to address myself to those few listeners who may not be playing rugby football at this moment. A try is what happens when you collect a ball which has been either passed to you or perhaps kicked by an opponent and run it...


NP: Clement Freud speaking when the whistle went gained another point as well as one in the round, and he's now overatken Peter Jones and he's in the lead again. Thora Hird, will you begin the next round, and the subject is doing away with flies.

TH: Ohhhhh!

NP: Try and tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: I don't like killing anything, I must admit. But then there's a lot of people like me. But I was in Fiji and found that having lunch... I just threw that away what I just said!

PJ: Very wise!

TH: Yes! And next to everybody's plate was a fly swatter you see, because they were walking around a bit. And it's amazing how your charcater can change you know, as you're putting a nice bit of food in your mouth... Bang! Swat! Swat! Swat!


TH: Oh I didn't know then! I didn't know!

NP: Derek Nimmo, yes?

DN: A little over swatting!

NP: Swat! Swat! Swat! And 24 seconds left, doing away with flies is now with you Derek starting now.

DN: I suppose we really did away with flies some years ago when we all or most of us took to the zip. And very handy I have found it! Except occasionally it can jam in the most awkward circumstances. And not only are the most frightful things likely to happen to one. But one can't remedy the mistake caused by the defect of the machinery...


NP: Everybody was waiting in anticipation to know what happened when your fly jammed Derek! They will never know now because you went on until the whistle went, gained an extra point and you have moved into third place at the end of the round. Peter Jones, your turn to begin and the subject is standing around. And there are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

PJ: I'm always amazed at the number of people who are doing this. I see them all over the place, in the street and er airports and railway...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Hesitation, and er.

NP: Yes er yes, I'm afraid Peter..

PJ: Yes there was, yes.

NP: Fifty-two seconds are left and the subject is standing around Derek starting now.

DN: Well I'm very interested in people standing a round. It's very seldom that one finds Nicholas Parsons...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Repetition of very. Very interested, very seldom.

NP: Yes! Yes I'm afraid you were perfectly correct. There are 40...

CF: Went down like a lead balloon didn't it?

DN: What was it?

PJ: Very! Very!

DN: Repetition of very? Are we challenging on very now are we? Oh! It's going to be that sort of day, is it? Very!

NP: Yes! It wasn't a very good challenge! But it was a correct one! And there are 48 seconds for standing around Clement starting now.

CF: Standing around is something which is very difficult...


NP: Yes! What is your challenge?

DN: Hesitation!

NP: Yes! Yes you see they're giving each other the needle and they're all slipping up! Forty-five seconds are left, standing around, with you Derek starting now.

DN: Standing around on the corner of the street watching all the pretty girls go by! Whistle I do and gosh!They turn towards me and they say "who's that filthy beast standing there with that plastic mac on?" With his eyes...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged. Clement what was your challenge?

CF: I seem to have heard it all before!

NP: You may have seen it all before! I don't know whether you have heard it all before! Yes he wasn't deviating and he gets another point and there are 35 seconds Derek on standing around starting now.

DN: Two points of wallop, one glass of gin, a cider, two sasparellas and three trine gentleman left behind from the days of Lord Kitchener. That is a very curious way of standing a round. But I once heard somebody use those very words in the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly. And what happened to this fellow is amazing! In fact I wish you'd been there because I think you might have enjoyed it as well. Because he was standing a round! And his name was Nicholas Parsons...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: Um, I can't remember!

NP: Just repetition...

PJ: Yes, repetition of in fact. He said in fact twice!

NP: Did he?

PJ: Yes!

NP: Well done! There are two seconds left...

DN: Freud just gave that to him! He had no idea why he challenged! Freud was grinning about it all...

PJ: Not at all! Not at all!

DN: A very nasty sight when Freud is grinning like that! Peter Jones said "in fact" and it was not true!

PJ: I'm not under a...

DN: And you've been bamboozled as usual by it!

NP: Bamboozled as usual?

PJ: I'm not under any obligation to divulge my source!

NP: They're all getting the needle now! They're getting very worked up! One-upmanship satisfies! And there's one and a half seconds on standing around with you Peter starting now.

PJ: Same again! What lovely words...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo did get a lot of points in that round, he failed to get the one when the whistle went. But he has moved forward and is now only one point behind our joint leaders Peter Jones and Clement Freud. Clement it's your turn to begin again and the subject now is racing. Will you tell us something about one of your favourite subjects in 60 seconds starting now.

CF: Racing is somewhere between going very fast and taking off. But in this country it is normally used to describe the antics of horses who try to get from one point to another faster than other animals of the same breed. And this is basically where most people tend to lose their money. Because when you back a quadruped to challenge another over a certain distance, the only reason why you finish up with less cash than you started off with is because the equus in question moved more slowly than the opposing...


NP: Oh you couldn't think of another one! Derek Nimmo you challenged.

DN: Well he moved too slowly and therefore it was hesitation.

NP: Yes and you have 18 seconds left for racing starting now.

DN: I must say I do love going racing. I think probably my favourite meeting of all is that that takes place on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington in Australia. Gosh! The Melbourne Cup! What a wonderful day that is! And I recently bought three brood mares in New Zealand who have been certified loco...


NP: Well Derek Nimmo's three brood mares kept him going until the whistle went...

CF: The Melbourne Cup's run on the Saturday!

DN: It's not! It's the first Tuesday in November!

CF: Saturday!

DN: I'm sorry, I insist! May I take a wager of 50 pounds upon that? Are you all witnesses, ladies and gentlemen? It's run on the first Tuesday...

PJ: I'm not a witness, are you?

DN: Are you prepared to accept that as a betting man?

NP: Is there anyone in the audience from Australia?

AUSTRALIAN IN AUDIENCE: It's run on a Tuesday!

NP: There we are! You see our Australian visitors who listen to our show regularly...

DN: I will take a cheque!

NP: I flew that lady in specially to be an adjudicator! Thank you very much and I'm sorry we can't afford your fare back! Do you listen to Just A Minute in Australia?


NP: Good, good. What's it like seeing it being done in a studio?

AUSTRALIAN: Oh it's much more interesting!

NP: You didn't think you'd have to settle at bet at the same time! There are 60 seconds on the next subject as usual, it's Derek Nimmo's turn to begin and the subject is spooks. Will you tell us something about spooks in Just A Minute, Derek, starting now.

DN: Spooks, ghosts, ghouls. Gosh! I suppose they were often provoked by the use of the 109th psalm. I remember when Sir Klaus Lee Shovels-Feet was approaching the Silly Islands in the 18th century, a young...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: He doesn't remember that event! He said I remember when he was approaching the Silly Isles.

NP: Yes, you're quite right Peter, a very good challenge. And you have 45 seconds on spooks starting now.

PJ: Spooks are these figments of the imagination. Some people get the willies when they're sleeping...


NP: Derek Nimmo's challenged.

DN: Willies, we've gone back to doing away with flies again! Repetition!

NP: A repetition? Of what?

TH: Mr Chairman...

NP: Oh yes Thora, nice to hear from you.

TH: Yes well no it's just in case, you know, it's just in case anybody thinks I've dropped off! I was just sitting here thinking what a shame! He pressed the button when I was doing about flies because I was going to tell about flies on pants.

NP: Oh really?

TH: Yes that's all, I just wanted you to know I would have done but you pressed your button.

NP: Mmmm.

TH: That's all.

NP: I'm sorry we'e got onto the subject of spooks!

TH: No it don't matter. It's just that I haven't dropped off, I'm taking an interest.

NP: Peter Jones had an incorrect challenge and he keeps the subject, there are 37 seconds left for spooks starting now.

PJ: And they go to sleep in a quiet house in the country. And they hear the noise of creaking floorboards or the flapping of a shutter or a door that makes a noise as the lock is turned, and footsteps in the distance perhaps approach. It can be a...


NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Hesitation between can and be.

NP: Yeah. There was a small hesitation, yes. There are 20 seconds left Derek for spooks with you starting now.

DN: The wind whistling round the west wing,and the turret gleaming with the flash of lightning there suddenly appeared at the lancet window a ghoul, a spook. This white shrouded figure with a green light oozing from an ectoplasmic...


NP: Peter Jones has challenged.

PJ: You can't have a green light oozing!

DN: From an ectoplasmic...

PJ: No! Light can't ooze!

NP: No I don't think light can ooze. Liquid can ooze...

DN: What about, what about a glowworm?

NP: Well don't try and justify it Derek because you're wrong! There are two seconds left for spooks back with you Peter starting now.

PJ: Sometimes perfectly normal situations...


NP: Well Peter Jones got some more points including the one for speaking when the whistle went. He's increased his lead over Derek Nimmo, and Clement Third, Freud, Clement third, third, Clement Freud is still in third place and Thora Hird has got one point.

TH: I know that! Because they never stop talking, do they?

NP: No, they never stop talking! I think you're so charming the way you come and sit on the programme and listen to them so sweetly!

TH: I came here today! I've let somebody else press my button and I could have caused a bit of trouble about that you know. However! Is it me?

NP: It is you! Yes we're back with you and the subject is perfume. But when you do open your mouth how absolutely marvellous it is!

TH: Of course!

NP: Will you talk about perfume in Just A Minute starting now.

TH: I must say listening to Derek just then I nearly said don't ring us, we'll ring you! The acting was good! Yes? From when?

NP: That was the cheekiest thing that's ever happened on Just A Minute. So you've put the clock back have you, the 10 seconds you were talking? They all thought you were talking on the subject.

TH: Well you can count it if you like. Then I've only got to do 50 seconds.

NP: All right I'll count it Thora and you've got 50 seconds left on perfume not having started yet on the subject, starting now.

TH: Well I'm very fond of perfume. And when I was a little girl of course we used to call it scent. And I had a cousin in the business and it's not my life story, but she always used to ooze...


NP: Derek Nimmo has challenged.

DN: Not allowed to having oozing on this programme!

NP: I said light does not ooze! Scent can ooze!

DN: Oh I'm sorry it was oozing I thought!

NP: Liquids, yes, Thora that was an incorrect challenge so you have a point for that and you're increasing, you have doubled your situation here and you have 30 seconds left on perfume with you Thora starting now.

TH: How many seconds?


TH: How many seconds?

NP: Derek Nimmo challenged.

DN: Well either hesitation or to give her a chance to get an extra point!

NP: Well she hasn't actually hesitated so an incorrect challenge. She hadn't even started! Twenty-nine seconds on perfume starting now.

TH: I think a lot of people would agree with me that various...


NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of Wigan.

TH: Wigan? Wigan? What are you talking about? Wigan? You see, no, Mr Chairman...

NP: Yes?

TH: What these gentlemen don't understand is that they are giving explanations of things and it isn't for me to criticise when I'm only here as a guest, but they say a gho-o-o-u-u-l or a gho-o-o-o-st. Well there's about 10 seconds gone then! And I'm speaking...

NP: Thora...

TH: What would you like me to do?

NP: I must tell you you're so charming to call them, the three of them, gentlemen after the way they've treated you. I'm going to give you a point for the incorrect challenge.

TH: Yes! Right! Once upon a time ladies were the only ones who used (sniffs) but now there is every make in the world for men for (slaps)...


DN: Repetition of (sniffs, slaps)

TH: Oh it's only that!

NP: Well Derek Nimmo that was a correct challenge on the slapping...

TH: Yes.

NP: So we give it to you now with 19 seconds on perfume starting now.

DN: Smelly! That's what they used to call me at school! Gosh, there he comes, old Stinkpots! So I covered myself...


NP: Clement Freud has challenged.

CF: Deviation.

NP: What on?

CF: If they called him Smelly why do they say there's old Stinkpots?

NP: Oh that's a very good challenge. Clement you have 12 seconds for perfume starting now.

CF: I never use perfume myself although after shave lotion...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Devi... oh I was just going to say I wished he did!

NP: Stinkpot and now he's accusing someone else of being one! Eight seconds, it's an incorrect challenge but still with you Clement, perfume starting now.

CF: But I do find perfume offensive. When I eat very delicately cooked meals, vittles, viens or drink wine. Because the odour...


NP: Well Clement Freud was speaking when the whistle went and he has moved forward into second place equal with Derek Nimmo, one point now behind our leader who is Peter Jones. Thora Hird did magnificently in that round entirely off his own bat, challenged herself and told herself when to start, and she has got a considerable number of points but she's still in fourth place.

TH: I'd like to say Mr Chairman as I probably won't get another choice to say anything, that you shouldn't say things like that Mr Freud. I'm quite an admirer of yours and your food and your wine and all that. You find perfume offensive! Well a lot of ladies like to put a little bit of goo on!

CF: They don't have to have dinner with me!

TH: And you're eating your food and it smells of onions and all the rest of that, you know!

NP: We're moving now back to Peter Jones and the subject is a lighthouse keeper and there are 60 seconds to talk on that Peter starting now.

PJ: Well the phrase a lighthouse keeper should not be phrased with a light house keeper or alight, housekeeper! The last of these three is usually used when the aged crone who looks after...


PJ: ... the home of Our Majesty at Balmoral alights from the helicopter, they say alight, housekkeper! And she gets off...

NP: Um Peter...

PJ: ... with the banger. Pardon?

NP: You've been challenged.

PJ: Oh really? By whom?

NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: Hesitation on cr-o-o-one.

NP: No, no, no, he said it through a laugh and it was most enjoyable. Um Peter...

PJ: Thanks very much!

NP: It's the first time I've seen him laugh at one of his own jokes actually! There are 43 seconds with you Peter, a lighthouse keeper starting now.

PJ: It used to be used to describe er a man who lived...


NP: Derek Nimmo.

DN: It used to be used to describe er.

NP: Yes there was a hesitation there...

DN: Yes there was, slight.

NP: And 38 seconds are left for a lighthouse keeper with you Derek starting now.

DN: Fred Stuart MacDonald was a lighthouse keeper in the north of Scotland. And that's not surprising really because as you know he had a Scottish name. One of the nice things about having that particular job is that it doesn't really matter if you do up your flies because you're terribly alone standing out there like the Lampen Flasher...


NP: Peter Jones.

PJ: Deviation, he's talking about flies again, doing up your flies...

CF: They were flashing!

PJ: Quite! And this is a family show!

NP: It wasn't a correct challenge and there are, Derek you have now 17 seconds left to talk about a lighthouse keeper, sorry, 21 seconds starting now.

DN: The house itself is made of balsal wood and therefore was particularly light. And because of its very lightness one has to employ someone to keep it. Because if there was a typhoon or a hurricane, the whole of this house would take off and fly away into the air. And if you think about it, it's not a very good kind of material with which to build an abode in which you could live...



NP: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Peter Jones' light came on just before the whistle. What was it Peter?

PJ: A slight hesitation.

NP: There was definitely just before the end. You got in magnificently and I've just been told it's the last round so you've been extremely clever with half a second to go on a lighthouse keeper starting now.

PJ: Not much you can say really...


NP: Well that's a final challenge which got Peter in for the kill. Just er Derek Nimmo was in the lead before that, tripped himself up. As I said we have no more time so let me give you the final score. Thora Hird coming to do battle with these giants of the game did extraordinarily well to get the number of points that she did, congratulations, and gave us tremendous value. Clement Freud came in second place. He was two points behind Derek Nimmo who up until the last two seconds had the lead but then the man who had the lead came back to take it again, Peter Jones! Well a popular win with the audience here in the studio and I hope it's equally so with you listeners at home. From all of us who have played tonight, goodbye! We hope you've enjoyed the show!

ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons. The programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by John Browell.